Battles from Jan Dlugosz

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    Hans Hellinger

    From the entry for 1460

    “…the King’s troops are besieging the town and castle of Walcz; but when it is rumored that the Master [of the Teutonic Order] is coming with an army, the Polish commander raises the siege and withdraws to a place where he can best engage the enemy. Cunningly keeping to the side roads and covering twelve miles in a day and a night, the Master outwits the Poles and reaches Chojnice, having lost only 100 horses. Those inside Walcz now abandon the castle and, having set fire to it, try to link up with the Master. As they move by night, the Poles fail to catch up with them and there is no battle.

    The Master now moves his enlarged army towards Gdansk [aka Danzig]. He ambushes the garrison of a fort a mile from Gdansk, killing 60 of them and taking 200 prisoner. This raises the enemy’s spirits and gives the people of Gdansk reason for criticizing the King [of Poland, their ally]. Not only this, but the strong town of Golub is treacherously surrendered and a number of nobles from Dobrzyb captured in it with all their belongings.
    However, the castle above the town, held for the King, is reinforced and provisions sent in.

    The situation in Prussia is now very uncertain. Dobryzn is paying tribute to the enemy [The Teutonic Order]; and for no reason whatever the Duke of Szczecin, a near relative of the King, breaks faith and surrenders two of the towns entrusted to his stewardship, Lemberg and Bytow to the enemy.

    A third town, Puczkow, which the King of Sweden holds against money lent to King Casimir, is also taken over. Bielawa and Bartlestein go the same way. Kwidzyn is looted and burned. The city of Warminsk is plundered and burned by mercenaries from both sides, the loot being enough to give each man 200 florins [!!].

    Some of the King’s men in Paradyz monastery defeat the enemy in two major engagements. On St. Martin’s Day, the upper fort at Swiecie is captured by a hundred of the enemy, who are hauled up the wall in fishing nets by a Prussian inside; but, alerted to the situation, kinghts from Jujawy and Bydgoszcz and some men from Gdansk come down from Torun by boat, surround the upper fort and recapture it.”

    Hans Hellinger

    This is the town mentioned in the last paragraph, Swiecie. The town seems to have survived WW II relatively intact, though it was the scene of horrible war crimes by the Nazis. The medieval history is more interesting:

    Świecie was granted a municipal form of government by the Teutonic Order, [that means a town charter, almost certainly Chelmno law] “when it was still located on the high west bank of the Vistula. Probably because of destruction by fire, during the period 1338–1375 the town was relocated down into the valley at the Vistula. The town was briefly recaptured by the Poles after their victory in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. In 1454, in the beginning stages of the Thirteen Years’ War, it was captured by the Prussian Confederation, which opposed Teutonic rule, and upon the request of which King Casimir IV Jagiellon re-incorporated the territory to the Kingdom of Poland that same year.[2] The Teutonic Knights renounced any claims to the town, and recognized it as part of Poland in 1466.[3] Administratively it formed part of the Pomeranian Voivodeship in the province of Royal Prussia in the Greater Poland Province. The town prospered due to its location at the intersection of the Amber Road and the trade route connecting Western Pomerania with Warmia, Masuria and Lithuania.[1] In the 17th century, Świecie suffered as a result of the Swedish invasion of Poland and an epidemic.[1]

    Here is their medieval Gothic town-hall (Rathaus or Ratusz to the Poles)

    here is the Gothic church

    Gothic Church to St. Stanslaus

    And here is the castle where the fighting took place, built originally by the Teutonic Knights

    Ruined Teutonic Knights castle at Świecie, built originally in the 14th Century, partly destroyed by Polish troops in 1410

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